I was asked a question the other day that I didn’t have an answer to. I was asked if I ever wrote just for pleasure without a deadline as I always set really strict deadlines for myself even when I’m writing my own projects.
The truth of the matter is that I don’t really write without a deadline any longer and my friend wondered if I had sucked the joy out of writing by constantly setting myself word goals. I can see why it would seem that way. Whenever there is a number or a deadline placed on something, it becomes a form of work.
For me though, the deadlines only stops me from making excuses when I get lazy (and I get lazy quite often). The joy in the writing still remains and the creation of a universe still can provide a rush like no other. Songs become connected to stories and there are faces which are forever engrained in my memory. The writing channels it and when I don’t write, even if it’s only just a couple hundred words, I find myself getting too drawn into the worlds which I have created. There is a disconnect when I stop writing that can’t be solved by any other medium. I cannot create music or art, watching or reading other people’s art does not allow me to find the release that writing creates.
There is nothing more beautiful for me than watching a world take shape or the characters form. There’s nothing quite like that calm when the world begins to show its true colours or when I’m able to find a perfect song for the universe. Every story I create feeds into a larger universe which I watch take shape and there is nothing that I would trade it for. The problem is that when I don’t set the deadline, I can only think of the work that the writing process takes.
Every night I stay late to write and every morning when I wake up, I’m already thinking of what I will write after work has finished. I spend an minimum of eleven hours at work each day, but rather than dragging me down the deadlines lift me up. Each day, there is further progress on a story that I love and the expansion of a universe that I have poured my soul into. While the deadlines may seem harsh, they end up keeping me on track and I find myself looking forward to staying late more often than not so I can take one more step into the future.
I know that this might sound daft, but there are so many stories that I want to tell and even if I had the time to tell all of them, I wouldn’t have all the words. I find that a lot of time the way that I write doesn’t do justice to the images that I see inside my head. It would sound crazy to say that there are people who are taking form inside of my head, but there are and I love them the way that people probably love their children.
There are whole new stories to write, just waiting for me to finish the current one and I really, truly cannot wait for the opportunity.